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The Hartford Dollars Program Acts to Promote Community Recovery Efforts by Directing Consumer Spending to Participating Small Businesses

Jan 18, 2021 02:23PM ● By Kaitlyn Malone

Photo from Hartford Dollars Program website.

January 2021 is here and we are still working through the pandemic. The Hartford community is strong as it continues to find ways to support one another and its local businesses. Small businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic as covid-19 cases rise, however, community members now have an added incentive to spend their money in local stores. A program called the Hartford Dollars acts to promote community recovery efforts by directing consumer spending in participating in small businesses that can really use their support right now. Covid-19 has been putting pressure on us all but we must find creative ways to adapt and do what we can to stay safe while caring for our community!

The Hartford Dollars program was initiated by the Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce and a local nonprofit called Vital Communities. Using a Restart Vermont Regional Marketing and Stimulus Grant from the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, this program allows shoppers to get twice their value if they shop local. This program had its first run in October with great success and now a second promotion of “Hartford Dollars II” is available. They are selling $17,000 of Hartford Dollars to folks who will shop local and distribute the money back into the community. Coupons are provided online for shoppers to purchase and those coupons are worth double in participating stores. You can either purchase $15 or $25 of Hartford Dollars worth $30 and $50 in-store. These coupons can be used through February 28th. Please check out the list of participating businesses here, at “Hartford Dollars”. Do note that the dollars may not be used to purchase alcohol, lottery tickets, firearms, cannabis, tobacco, or used on tax and tips. You will also need to use the full amount of your coupon at one time because there will be no change given.

The Hartford Dollars program has had a significant positive impact on the community of Hartford and the elevation of the local economy. Encouraging the Upper Valley residence to buy from locally owned businesses is a focus for the Vital Communities nonprofit. This focus has helped shape a culture that allocates money back to the community up to 4 times that of larger chain stores (see here: study). Especially now during the pandemic, it is even more important that folks help support the small business they love and help them get through these difficult times. Many Upper Valley shops have been struggling so keeping those dollars circulating close to home when it might be easy to go to a chain store is a real show of solidarity.

As we are all reinventing ourselves to adapt to the pandemic there is comfort in seeing the ways in which the Hartford community continually shows up for each other. The Hartford Dollars II is one factor that not only brings fiscal support but it is also a sign of goodwill and emotional support as well for businesses who love their community. Every little bit helps and it is a great opportunity for families who are looking for ways to be more thrifty during this time! For more information and to purchase your Hartford Dollars click here.

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